Lifeline Assignment Instructions
Society has expectations for when certain events will occur or when certain roles will be filled. Often, these expectations are culturally determined or cohort dependent. This activity will challenge you to think about age-normative expectations for three family cohorts. You will recognize the changing social context through the lifespan and apply knowledge about adult roles to your own family.
Based on interviews with two family members, you will construct three lifelines: one for yourself, and two for family members. Then, you will compare/contrast the timing of important life events and social roles.
Choose interview subjects. To construct the lifelines, you should interview your same-sex parent and grandparent (either in person or over the phone). If for some reason you cannot interview these individuals, you should choose another same-sex relative from the same generation (i.e., uncle instead of father, or great-aunt instead of grandmother). If you are uncertain of what to do, contact the instructor.
Conduct the interview in the following manner:
• To introduce the task, say something like, “I am doing an assignment for my class in adult development, and I would like to ask you some questions about your life—the events that were important to you, and any turning points.”
• Begin the question with: “Let’s begin with your childhood, from your early years until 8th grade. As you look back, what were some significant events?”
o For each event, be sure to find out how old the person was at the time.
o “Pick out one event that was particularly important for you during this period of your life. What was it? How did it affect the direction of your life (what happened as a result? What was different?)?”
• Ask the same questions for each subsequent life stage:
o high school years
o young adulthood (18-29)
o early middle adulthood (30-44)
o late middle adulthood (45-64)
o since turning 65
• Ask questions about common life events. Ask your relative about these events if he or she has not already mentioned them. You can ask, “Now let me ask you about some other specific events, and when they happened in your life. How old were you when you…”?
o started school.
o completed school and highest grade.
o experienced a faith conversion.
o got your first job of any type.
o got your first full time job.
o had any significant job changes.
o moved into your own home/apartment (no longer lived with parents)
o went into the military.
o got married.
o had your first child.
o had other children.
o if divorced/remarried, ask about dates.
o experienced significant moves.
o when your parents died.
• Discover any more historical events.
o To see if your relative has not yet talked about specific historical events, ask:
▪ “What were some other important historical events in your life, besides the ones you’ve mentioned already?”
▪ For each event, find out how old your relative was at the time.
▪ “Which event had the most impact on you?”
▪ “How did it affect your life?”
• Thank your relative for helping with this assignment.
Construct the lifelines. After completing the interviews, you’ll need to draw the lifelines. You will construct three lifelines: one for you, one for your same-sex parent, and one for your same sex grandparent. The lifelines should be constructed on one or two pieces of paper. Plot a line from birth to your relatives’ current ages, marking out time at every 10-year intervals. Place along the line all the events your relative mentioned at the ages they took place. For your lifeline, the period up to the present should be written in black ink. Then, plot events that you expect to take place in your future in red ink. You should include normative life events and perhaps a few non-normative events.
Write the summary. After completing the lifelines, write a brief summary (two pages) of your observations. The summary should include:
• Two or three important life events for each of your relatives and how those events impacted him or her.
• A comparison of your lifeline and your relatives’ lifelines. What are the similarities and differences in the timing of events between your relatives and you, and what are possible reasons for those similarities and differences?
• Three lifelines
• Two-page summary
• Times New Roman, 12-point font, 1” margins.
o summary of life events for both relatives
o comparison of your lifeline to your relatives’ lifelines
• Avoid 2nd person pronouns (you, your, etc.) unless you are quoting your participant. First person is allowed for this assignment.
• You must use MS Word and submit your paper to Turnitin in Canvas.
• Name your file as “Last name 235”.
Note: Your assignment will be checked for originality via the Turnitin plagiarism tool.
Lifeline Assignment Instructions